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Mon, May
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Calls for barriers at Barley Hill


RAISED ISSUE Cllr Brendan Mulroy wants action on the Barley Hill junction on the N59.

Anton McNulty

Councillors have called for crash barriers to be erected along the N59 at Barley Hill in order to prevent vehicles going over the edge.
There have been numerous calls for crash barriers to be erected at the location on the Newport Road near Westport and last week councillors renewed those calls after hearing that a car almost went off the road.
There is a major drop at the top of the hill and councillors said if a vehicle leaves the road it will result in a fatality.
“It came to my attention that a girl was travelling along that road when a tractor came around the corner on the wrong side of the road and she she nearly ended up over the side. This was very close,” Cllr Brendan Mulroy told the meeting.
Cllr Michael Holmes, who has called on a number of occasions for crash barriers to be erected, said the ‘next thing to a close thing was a fatality’.
“If a coach goes down there, there would be no need to send for the emergency services because there would be nobody to rescue. It will tumble and roll and roll for 100m before it stops,” he said.
Crash barriers
A new road which will connect the N59 with the new N5 Westport to Turlough road is to go through Barley Hill but Cllr Holmes said regardless of this, there must be crash barriers erected in the short-term.
“I think in the short-term there has to be something done. I would ask the officials to make a plea to the TII [Transport Infrastruture Ireland] to explain the concern of the local representatives and the general public. School bus drivers have told me time and time again that their heart is in their mouth going around that turn with a school bus of kids. It is lethal. I often do wonder where is the health and safety officer in situations like this where vehicles are allowed track along an edge of road which is only six inches wide between that and eternity,” he said.
Padraic Walsh, Head of the Municipal District, explained that the contractor for the new road at Barley Hill is to be appointed in the autumn. He added that he will ask the Head of Roads with Mayo County Council to speak to the TII and impress on them the importance of short-term measures at the location.